Big third inning advances Bruins in playoffs

Bear River scored seven runs on eight hits in the inning
By: Justin A. Lawson Journal Sports Writer
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SACRAMENTO ? Alyssa Reina wasn?t ready to end her stellar prep career or see her coach Duane Zauner hang it up quite yet. The senior catcher led the Pioneer Valley League with a .618 batting average and didn?t let that number slide Friday as she sparked the Bruins? third-inning scoring onslaught that led to a 9-2 victory over Antelope in the Sac-Joaquin Section Division III tournament. ?I think we all knew that we needed to pick it up and I guess three is a lucky number because we seem to pick it up in that inning,? said Reina, who finished 3-for-4 with three RBIs and a triple. ?We all knew what we had to do and came out and did it.? The top-seeded Bruins will face No. 3 seed Vanden at 1 p.m. today at Sacramento Softball Complex. They are guaranteed to play through Monday with the loser moving into the loser?s bracket and a chance to work their way back into the championship game. Bear River took a 1-0 lead in the first behind a Cambria Holcomb RBI single but missed a chance for a bigger inning after Reina crushed a triple to the fence in right-center and the next two batters sat down in order. The offense got in full swing in the third when Ali Thill led off with a bunt single followed but a single from senior Stephanie Ceo. Holcomb was hit by a pitch and Reina hit a grounder up the middle to drive in two runs to take a 3-0 Bruins? lead. After Mackinze Hollister grounded into a fielder?s choice, starting pitcher Maddie Phelps hit a two-RBI grounder. The Bruins saw 12 batters in the inning and scored seven runs on eight hits. Ceo, who will play at Texas next season, was 3-for-3 with two RBIs. Phelps pitched five innings, allowed six hits and had three strikeouts. Erin Nichol, who will get the start today, pitched the final two innings and had three strikeouts on two hits. The Bruins will need every player to stay healthy through the tournament with only 11 players available after sophomore infielder Rachel Last injured her knee during practice earlier this week. Reina was hit on the wrist on a Holcomb line drive while she was at third, but said other than some soreness she was OK. ?It could get ugly with a couple injuries. It could get real ugly,? said Zauner, who will retire after this season. ?These kids know how to take care of themselves so I?m not worried about it.?